The female menopause and menstruation are obviously closely related.
While the first menstruation starts the fertile phase of a woman’s life,
menopause marks it end.Menopause is not a medical illness, as much as
menstrual bleeding is not a disease.
In this page, I will
discuss the menopause and menstruation relationship as well as related
concepts such as menopause changes to expect, delaying menopause and
dealing with menopause symptoms.
The Menstruation Marker
As you may guess, making the diagnosis of menopause does not usually
require a doctor or special tests.The eyes are usually sufficient for
most women! The most important marker that women use to identify
menopause is the cessation of menstruation.It is an important concept
that links menopause and menstruation.
Menstrual flow stops after
menopause not because the uterus has lost its endometrium but because
the hormones from the ovaries are no longer produced. The ovaries are
therefore the primary reason for menopause and not the ovary.
Nevertheless, the loss of the functions of the ovaries is easily seen as
a loss of the function of the uterus, that is menstruation.
You should expect some changes as menstruation gives way for menopause.
Some major changes include
- Lifestyle changes.
You will have to move from taking care of the monthly menstrual
bleeding to adaptive lifestyle changes to handle perimenopause symptoms.
- Natural indefinite infertility. Yes,
we can confidently say you cannot become pregnant again, though we
remember too that “never say never”! No need for contraceptive pills or
other birth control methods.
- Anatomic/ morphological changes. These
may affect virtually any organ of the body but are most marked in the
reproductive system. Some of these changes include thinning of the
vaginal wall, shrinking of the labia and loss of the lubricating
secretions which become more watery.
Complications Of The Female Menopause
When menstruation stops or begin to taper off, the decline in the
hormones produces perimenopause symptoms and also predisposes the woman
to some complications.
Some of these complications include
- Heart and blood vessel disease. The
risk of cardiovascular diseases increases after menopause so general
preventivemeasures such as smoking cessation and exercise will help.
- Osteoporosis. Bone
mass reduces rapidly after menopause and may predispose to low density
bones(osteoporosis) and fractures. Exercise and adequate vitamin D and
calcium help reduce this process.
- Urinary incontinence. This
follows the thinning and shrinking of the tissues of the genital and
urinary area. Kegel exercises help control this problem.
- Lipid problems. Some
lipid abnormalities may arise and contribute to the risk of heart
disease. Dietary precautions and exercise will be of help.
- Weight gain. Many women gain weight during the menopausal transition. It will therefore pay to watch your diet too.
- Vaginal bleeding. Bleeding
may occur especially after an intercourse. But postmenopausal bleeding
should be carefully evaluated to rule out cancer.
Dealing With Menopause
Menopause in itself is not a disease. However, you will definitely
have to deal with the symptoms and changes. Dealing with menopause
symptoms does not necessarily mean taking medications. Menopause treatments
usually include lifestyle changes with or without medications.Some
women have also report some relief with herbs though concrete medical
evidence is lacking in most cases.
You should see a doctor in the following cases
- Preventive health counseling during perimenopause and early postmenopause.
- Serious symptoms that warrant treatment.
- Most especially postmenopausal bleeding.
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